Windows 11 goes from strength to strength with PC gamers – but not everyone else

PC gamers continue to show a stronger preference for Windows 11 over Windows 10 compared to everyday users, going by the most recent stats from a couple of sources.

We’re talking about the Steam hardware survey for June, a monthly report compiled by Valve on all sorts of facets of the PCs used on the platform, and Statcounter’s latest figures for June (which represent everyday users, or a non-gaming audience – though there may be some gamers among their ranks, of course).

So, let’s look at those numbers for June and the recent past, before moving on to discuss them.

On Steam in June, 35.75% of gamers are now using Windows 11, which is a pretty big uptick of 1.76% compared to the previous month. Indeed, in May, Windows 11 increased by 0.6% for adoption levels, and in April, it leaped by 11% (though that figure was an anomaly, representing a major shift in the survey’s target audience which rather messed up things).

Still, you can see that steady upward progress is the trend, and by taking the aforementioned 11% glitch out of the equation, we can see that March and April went up by just over a percent (combined, so both months witnessed a similar gain to May, effectively).

Moving to everyday users and looking at Statcounter’s figures, Windows 11 adoption is now at 23.91%, up from 22.95%, an increase of nearly one percent – but the kicker is that in May, as we reported at the time, Windows 11 actually fell from 23.11% to 22.95%. So in actual fact, over the last three months, the increase has been a rather shaky 0.82% (compared to 2.36% for gamers).

Analysis: Microsoft relying on Copilot for take-off outside of gamers?

It’s pretty clear to see that things are rather shaky for Windows 11 in terms of its general user base over the past few months compared to the gaming landscape, where the newer OS continues to be on the up and up.

Looking at it another way, rounding up, Windows 11 is at 36% for gamers and 24% for everyday users – so adoption is now 50% greater for the gaming world. That’s quite a difference.

For Microsoft, seeing that just under a quarter of the general computing public has moved to Windows 11 must be pretty disappointing. Remember, the OS is not far off two years old now, and at the same point in its timeline of existence, Windows 10 had captured a 36% market share (as per Statcounter) of everyday users. (Which, funnily enough, corresponds to the level now reached by gamers for Windows 11).

What can Microsoft do about this? Well, fixing bugs is one thing, as reports of issues such as the wonky SSD speeds that have been affecting some Windows 11 users since March will be off-putting to would-be upgraders. And the other point that immediately springs to mind is adding back features that were stripped away in Windows 11 (useful functionality like ‘never combine’ for the taskbar, which is, thankfully, inbound for the OS hopefully before the end of the year).

We’re guessing that Microsoft is probably relying on some big-ticket features to attract the average user to make the leap to Windows 11 – the principal one being Windows Copilot, the introduction of an AI assistant to the desktop. Copilot has just appeared in testing (Dev channel preview build), albeit in a very limited fashion to begin with.

Of course, the other sticking point for Windows 11 is that it has more stringent hardware requirements than Windows 10 that not every PC out there can meet, so some folks will have to wait until they get a new PC. (Or perform a fiddly upgrade, either a physical one – like installing a TPM module – or a workaround, which isn’t likely to happen in many cases for good reasons).

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